Micah 6:8 – And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Cross Walk Reflection by Rev. Dr. Marty Kuchma, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Good Friday, 2014
Jesus was born into utter simplicity, far from the halls of power, just out of sight of mighty kings. He lived his life in that vulnerable space at the margins of society. It is from that social location that he spoke and out of that spirit that he acted. He advocated for a world in which the last would be first and the first last, where the poor would get richer and the rich get poorer, where the mighty would fall and the meek rise up. In all that he did, he made it so that there was a place at the table, and in his ministry, and in his heart for the people others were content to ignore and ostracize and oppress.
More than anything else, Jesus came to bring the Kingdom of God near to all people, to make it so that every person could know God’s love and experience it in real ways. That was so central to his mission that he was even willing to die for it. And so he did, enduring inhuman suffering at the hands of those who could neither imagine nor tolerate change that would level the playing field and give every person an equal chance. As disciples, Jesus calls us to work toward that same justice for all, even when that call requires that we put our very own lives on the line, or at least step out of our comfort zones.
This walk, centering on the symbol of the cross upon which Jesus was crucified and died, reminds us that Christianity was never meant to be a comfortable faith. Instead, it compels us to stand up and speak out, to make it so that the voiceless have a voice, the silenced are heard, the forgotten are remembered, the unloved are loved. Professing Christianity binds us to feeding hungry people, housing homeless people, caring for sick people, welcoming strangers, loving our neighbors. We are not supposed to just talk about that stuff. We are supposed to live it, not just once in a while but all the time.
So I am grateful for this opportunity to be together this morning. I invite your fullest participation in all that we will do here today. And then I encourage you to make it all matter by doing something today to make the world a better place, to show God’s love in some way in your real life. Lift up someone who is down. Right some social wrong. Take up some worthy cause that will make life better for someone else. Work to meet for some greater need. Or make the time to speak WITH someone in need.
Surely there are ways that the events we commemorate today are about you and me. But, in all things, Jesus’ life and death were about “we,” about all of us together, connected by a web of interdependence in which we cannot all survive if some of us don’t, in which we cannot all thrive unless we all thrive together.
As we pick up the cross, as both a symbol and a calling, may we have the strength, the passion, and the courage to make it so that God’s love fills every heart, and God’s justice reigns always and everywhere. And may we heed Jesus’ prayer to be as one, realizing our great collective power to make the world a better place.